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When Do You See A Doctor For Back Pain

What Treatments Does A Knee Specialist Recommend

When should you see a doctor for back pain?

Most causes of anterior knee pain are due to biomechanical factors that require a comprehensive rehab program incorporating other disciplines including physiotherapy, podiatry, and strength and conditioning.

Sometimes, anterior knee pain may be due to kneecap arthritis or fat pad impingement. Generally, both of these conditions need specialised treatment.

In addition, Dr Masci is a specialist in the management of a common knee complaint called patellar tendinopathy or jumpers knee. Patellar tendinopathy occurs in younger individuals who participate in jumping or change of direction sports including football, rugby, and athletics. Managing patellar tendinopathy or jumpers knee is challenging and requires a comprehensive rehab program such as heavy loading at the gym and extras to exercise including shockwave therapy, GTN patches or an ultrasound-guided injection. Dr Masci has published a paper on stem cell and PRP injections in patellar tendinopathy. Often, an MSK ultrasound is useful to confirm the diagnosis of patellar tendinopathy or jumpers knee.

Another common knee complaint is arthritis of the knee joint most cases of knee arthritis do not need surgery and improve with exercise therapy combined with other treatments including medication and/or injections. Dr Masci has expertise in the non-surgical treatment of arthritis of the knee such as PRP injections. This recent blog discusses evidence for PRP injections in knee osteoarthritis.

Who Can Treat Neck And Back Pain

If you hurt a joint or strain a muscle, sometimes theres comfort in knowing that at least others feel your pain. If youre dealing with back pain, many will know exactly what youre going through. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the U.S.

It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move. Back pain can be sorted into two big categories: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain comes on suddenly after a fall or after lifting something heavy and lasts no longer than six weeks. Chronic pain often develops slowly and lasts longer than three months, the NIAMSD reports.

Both acute and chronic back pain can arise from a variety of conditions. Therefore, depending on the cause of your back pain, you might end up seeing any one of a variety of specialists. Dr. Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., chief of degenerative, minimally invasive and robotic spine surgery at New York-Presbyterian s Spine Hospital, says primary care physicians, physiatrists, pain management specialists, sports medicine doctors and spine surgeons can all treat problems of the spine and neck.

  • But for chronic conditions or less severe injuries, Reynolds says patients are typically referred to a back or spine specialist by their primary care physician or internist.
  • Answers To Common Back Pain Questions

    More than eight in 10 people will experience upper, mid, or low back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the most common back pain. In most cases, the pain goes away over time. If your back pain is severe or does not improve, you may need medical care. Here are answers to some common questions about back pain and tips on when to seek help.

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    How Long Should Back Pain Last

    The first characteristic associated with back pain is whether it is acute or chronic. Acute back pain is new, comes on suddenly, and often resolves on its own within a few days to a couple of weeks. Acute back pain can last a few months on rare occasions, but it should disappear completely with no residual symptoms. Recall that the severity of the pain is not related to whether the back pain will be acute and resolve quickly or chronic and last for years.

    Chronic back pain is pain that does not go away for 3 or more months. Some people suffer from back pain, intermittently for years. Anyone with chronic back pain should be under the care of an orthopedic back specialist. The major goals for patients with chronic back pain are strengthening the back muscles, minimizing painful episodes over long periods, and ultimately eliminating the pain possible in some patients with chronic back pain.

    About 1 in 5 back pain sufferers will end up with chronic back pain. It is important to remember that chronic back pain does not mean there has been severe damage to the spine. Additional treatment is needed or a different type of treatment to achieve resolution of the pain. Deciding when to see a doctor for back pain may include a long duration of pain

    Best Doctors For Back Pain

    Back Pain: A Visual Guide to Herniated Disks

    Since you shouldn’t try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problem, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor.

    Both can serve as an entry point for back pain.

    Generally speaking, your primary care provider will only offer pain medications or injections designed to reduce pain, but not necessarily correct the issue.

    Chiropractors on the other hand, have much more training when it comes to addressing back pain.

    A chiropractors training contains over 150 more hours of education in biomechanics, while medical students learn more about pharmaceuticals.

    Chiropractors use posture exercises and hands-on spinal manipulation to relieve back pain, improve function, and help the body heal itself.

    According to Harvard Health, the most positive research on chiropractic therapy has focused on spinal manipulation for low back pain.

    Here’s a few quotes including the scientific journal reference discussing chiropractic care for back pain:

    âFor patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially selectnon-pharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction , tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation .â

    American College of Physicians

    Goertz et al. , Spine

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    Who Will Likely Refer You To A Physical Therapist

    Generally, the first course of action for ongoing back pain is six weeks of physical therapy, plus at-home treatments like those mentioned earlier in the article.

    can also do assessments of how youre sitting, standing and movingand show you how to improve your workspace and posture, for instance. And theyll create an exercise or movement program thats designed to help your back feel better.

    How Is Back Pain Treated

    You can do several things to manage back pain. A conversation with your doctor or physiotherapist can help address any concerns you may have and help you to better understand your treatment. Remember that not all information is trustworthy, so let your healthcare team know about treatments you are considering before you begin them.

    Ways to manage back pain include the following:

    Strong pain medication is not recommended for back pain. Research shows strong pain medication provides little benefit and can cause side effects such as drowsiness, sedation and/or dependence.

    If you have severe back pain and your current medication is not adequately managing it, talk to your doctor about a suitable treatment plan. In some cases, your doctor may suggest an injection that can numb the pain such as an epidural injection, or a surgical procedure, such as a laminectomy to help manage your pain.

    There are many other treatments to manage back pain, but they have not been well proven. These include:

    • herbal medicines
    • heat and cold therapy

    FIND A HEALTH SERVICE The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.

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    Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts

    If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.

    Learn More:Listen to a podcast on herniated disks.

    What Type Of Doctor Specializes In Back Problems

    When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

    Orthopedists. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons are trained experts in the healing functions relative to the musculoskeletal system. This type of doctor is board certified and can help to treat any issues you may have with pain in the neck, spine, disc-related pain, and other common back pain complaints.

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    What Can Cause Lower Back Pain

    Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:


    • Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
    • Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.


    • Sprains , strains , and spasms
    • Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.

    Degenerative problems

    • Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
    • Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
    • Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.

    Nerve and spinal cord problems

    Non-spine sources

    What Does It Mean If Lower Back Pain Is Shooting Into Legs

    Lower back pain can radiate to other parts of the body: up or down from its place of origin. Sometimes lower back pain can be on one side of the back, which is also normal.

    If the pain is shooting from the lower back into one or both legs, it could be sciatica , but its not always the case. There are many parts in the lower back that may cause the pain to radiate into the legs, such as facet joints, sacroiliac joints, muscles or inflammation of the bursa.

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    Preventing Back Pain Tips For A Healthy Back

    What we do day to day is very important to help keep us healthy and prevent back pain.

    • Keep active regular exercise improves health and reduces recurrent back pain. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or intense physical activity a week.
    • Manage your stress and anxiety levels.
    • Dont smoke because nicotine decreases blood flow to your back. Back pain is more common and recovery is slower in smokers.
    • If you have recurring back pain, the following may help:
    • exercise regularly people who do regular exercise have less back pain than those who are inactive
    • aim for a weight within your healthy range
    • manage stress and mood
    • ask your physiotherapist or health provider to explore with you the types of movements and activities that are best for you.

    How Do I Make An Appointment

    Do you have back pain? Visit the Back Doctor

    We have multiple locations throughout New York and New Jersey, enabling you to find one that is convenient. To book an appointment with one of our clinics, simply fill in the online form, or give us a call at 767-3227 . We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you to live a life without back pain!

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    What Kinds Of Conditions Does A Chiropractor Treat

    I mainly see spine-related conditions. This includes pain in the low back , the upper back , and the neck . Some of my patients have had a recent injury while others have had pain for many years. Common causes of spine pain include disc problems and muscle spasms. Many patients have leg or arm pain or headaches in addition to back and neck pain. Chiropractors often work with injuries in other parts of the body, too knee injuries, shoulder injuries, things like that but my main focus is on the spine.

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    Things You Should Know

    Ideas about back pain have changed a lot over recent years. It is a good idea to read more about back pain as you may be surprised to discover that some of the things you thought were bad for the back are actually not a problem . Examples include:

    • sitting is not bad for the back
    • poor posture cannot injure the back
    • the back is designed to bend, twist and lift
    • moving and using the back makes it more healthy.

    Read more at 10-facts-about-back-pain or 15 things you didnt know about back pain.

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    Placental Tissue Matrix Injections

    Placental tissue matrices are derived from the placenta, an organ that develops during pregnancy to provide oxygen and nutrients to a developing fetus. The placenta sends nutrients to the growing baby via the umbilical cord and it is delivered from the body during childbirth, along with the baby.

    • The placental tissue is obtained from a healthy mother who had a normal labor and delivery without complications.
    • Once harvested, the placental tissue is cleansed and preserved.
    • The placental cells contain a large amount of growth factors that promote healing.

    Similar to PRP injections, injections of placental tissue matrix have been shown to help heal damaged cartilage cells and delay changes to the cartilage in osteoarthritis.

    You may experience decreased pain and improved use of your knee within two to six weeks after receiving prolotherapy injections, with effects lasting up to one year.

    Neither injections of PRP or PTM are recommended for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis by the American College of Rheumatology and Arthritis Foundation guidelines because there is limited evidence demonstrating overall effectiveness and there is a lack of standardization of treatment protocols.

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    Did The Back Injury Originate From Work

    Back Pain? Sciatica? When Do You Need To See A Doctor Immediately!

    If you are injured at work, you should report your injury and immediately find a workers compensation doctor. This helps to establish that the injury and your job are connected quickly.

    However, not all injuries will show themselves immediately. As soon as the connection is apparent, its time to report the injury and find a doctor.

    Finding a workers compensation doctor can help get an initial diagnosis. Second opinions and follow up appointment guide an injured worker to the right kind of specialist for their back injury.

    Do you know when to see a doctor for back pain? If the back pain is getting in the way of living normally, it is time to start seeking answers from a doctor.

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    Pay Attention To Body Mechanics And Posture

    Body mechanics are the way you use your body. Posture is the way you sit or stand.

    • Take extra care when you lift. When you must lift, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Avoid twisting, and keep the load close to your body.
    • Stand or sit tall, with your shoulders back and your stomach pulled in to support your back.

    When Should I See A Doctor If I Have Lower Back Pain

    In many cases lower back pain stops on its own. But if it doesnt, here are some guidelines on when you may want to start seeking professional help:

    • If the pain lasts four weeks or longer
    • If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by
    • If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.

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    Relieving Pain Without Surgery

    Dr. Miller: Now, what percent of patients actually get better with those conservative treatments?

    Dr. Bisson: I would tell you about 90-plus percent patients get better with just those things alone.

    Dr. Miller: In a week? Two weeks? A month?

    Dr. Bisson: Most patients get better within a few days, but it’s not unreasonable to think that it may take up to two to four weeks to see improvement with those conservative things.

    Dr. Miller: So I would think that many of these patients would be best served by seeing their primary care physician or someone like a physical therapist who could help them work through some of the pain issues.

    Why Go To An Orthopedic Doctor

    Is My Back Pain Scoliosis? ...

    There are a variety of medical doctors who treat specific sets of conditions. Because it is impossible for one physician to treat all types of conditions and injuries that affect the human body, doctors specialize in subfields of medicine. Through this specialization, a physician becomes an expert in a distinct subfield of medicine and can diagnose, treat, and prevent issues within that subfield. One such field is orthopedics.

    An orthopedic physician is an expert on the musculoskeletal system . Because back pain is most often caused by injury or damage to one of these components in the back, orthopedic physicians are often referred to for diagnosis and treatment.

    Using advanced education and training, orthopedic physicians can pinpoint the exact cause of the back pain. Back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, including a fracture, herniated disc, muscle strain, or damage to connective tissue. Orthopedic doctors can correctly diagnose the exact cause of the back pain and recommend effective treatment for it.

    Orthopedic physicians have access to state-of-the-art and advanced medical technology and treatments that are proven to be effective for musculoskeletal issues. Because of this, when a patient has back pain, orthopedic physicians can offer treatments that will give fast and effective results. Using various methods for pain reduction, which include injections, medication, and physical therapy, orthopedic physicians can offer long-term relief from back pain.

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